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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
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Whats is the definition of shoplifting in the books For example,

Resolved Question:

What's is the definition of shoplifting in the books? For example, if you put things in your pocket, but are still in the store, is that considered shoplifting? Is it only shoplifting if you walk out the doors or try to walk out the doors? What if your hands are full, and you put something in your pocket/purse and then take it out at the check out service to pay, can they nab you before you get to the checkout? Or would it be after if you didn't pull the item out, assuming that store security is watching your every move.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 years ago.



shoplifting is an "attempt to deprive the merchant of merchandise" one can be charged with shoplifting, even though they have not left the store. if it is concealed it is presumed the person has intent


here is the AZ statute


13-1805. Shoplifting; detaining suspect; defense to wrongful detention; civil action by merchant; classification; public services in lieu of fines

A. A person commits shoplifting if, while in an establishment in which merchandise is displayed for sale, such person knowingly obtains such goods of another with the intent to deprive that person of such goods by:

1. Removing any of the goods from the immediate display or from any other place within the establishment without paying the purchase price; or
2. Charging the purchase price of the goods to a fictitious person or any person without that person's authority; or
3. Paying less than the purchase price of the goods by some trick or artifice such as altering, removing, substituting or otherwise disfiguring any label, price tag or marking; or
4. Transferring the goods from one container to another; or
5. Concealment.

B. Any person who knowingly conceals upon himself or another person unpurchased merchandise of any mercantile establishment while within the mercantile establishment shall be presumed to have the necessary culpable mental state pursuant to subsection A of this section.

C. A merchant, or a merchant's agent or employee, with reasonable cause, may detain on the premises in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable time any person suspected of shoplifting as defined in subsection A of this section for questioning or summoning a law enforcement officer.

D. Reasonable cause is a defense to a civil or criminal action against a peace officer, a merchant or an agent or employee of such merchant for false arrest, false or unlawful imprisonment or wrongful detention.

E. If a minor engages in conduct which violates subsection A of this section notwithstanding the fact that such minor may not be held responsible because of the person's minority, any merchant injured by the shoplifting of such minor may bring a civil action against the parent or legal guardian of such minor under either section 12-661 or 12-692.

F. Any merchant injured by the shoplifting of an adult or emancipated minor in violation of subsection A of this section may bring a civil action against the adult or emancipated minor pursuant to section 12-691.

G. Shoplifting property with a value of two thousand dollars or more or shoplifting property during any continuing criminal episode regardless of the value of the goods is a class 5 felony. Shoplifting property with a value of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars is a class 6 felony. Shoplifting property valued at less than one thousand dollars is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless the property is a firearm in which case the shoplifting is a class 6 felony. For the purposes of this subsection, "continuing criminal episode" means theft committed from at least three separate retail establishments within a period of three consecutive days.

H. In imposing sentence on a person who is convicted of violating this section, the court may require any person to perform public services designated by the court in addition to or in lieu of any fine that the court might impose.

I. A person who commits shoplifting and who has previously committed or been convicted within the past five years of two or more offenses involving burglary, shoplifting, robbery or theft or who in the course of shoplifting entered the mercantile establishment with an artifice, instrument, container, device or other article that was intended to facilitate shoplifting, is guilty of a class 4 felony.



Edited by Samuel-II on 7/3/2010 at 4:56 PM EST
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